Growth In Youth Shooting Sports Continues at SSSF National Championships
|Another record-breaking season was set in July at the 2022 Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) National Championships. Hosted at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio, the annual youth shooting sports competition once again set the mark for the largest shoot in Cardinal Center history. Between the two youth programs, 39 states were represented at the National Championships.
|SASP participation continues to grow throughout the nation and had a strong presence at the National Championship. Once again in 2022, the SASP broke the record for the largest action shooting event in the world. With over 2,200 entries, athletes safely fired over 500,000 rounds of ammunition without incident. SCTP participation surged as well with nearly 3,000 athletes and over 8,000 event entries during the twelve-day event schedule. This marks the largest national championship the SCTP has ever conducted, with over 1.5 million targets being thrown in competition and tens of thousands more being thrown in practice and side competitions.
A staple of additional activities at SCTP Nationals is the Last Competitor Standing or "Annie Oakley" event. This massive scale elimination event saw well over 700 clay target athletes lined up across the length of two-dozen trap fields to determine who would come home with bragging rights and impressive prizes from SCTP sponsors.
SCTP and SASP members benefit from a year-long season, with local, state, and regional events, culminating in the National Championship each July. As the largest youth shooting sports event in the world, the youth development programs hold industry-wide support, with many sponsors present on site to support the event such as GLOCK, CZ-USA, Browning, Kolar, Beretta, Ruger, and more. Both programs serve as official youth feeders for the respective sports of USA Shooting. Athletes competing in the international disciplines of the SCTP and SASP often have Junior Olympic and Olympic goals in mind, with the youth feeding programs fostering those ambitions with additional opportunities.
Shooting sports continues to be a level-playing field where winning can be achieved without being the strongest or the fastest runner. Athletes come from a wide range of backgrounds and some that do not find their place in traditional ball sports often find success in shooting sports as well as socially. Athletes also find enormous success in youth shooting sports, regardless of gender. 1 out of every 3 of the programs' action shooting, international skeet, and bunker trap athletes are female, with many out-shooting the males outright for high overall awards. The SASP and SCTP programs focus on team-based youth shooting sports as the catalyst for youth development into high-quality, responsible young adults.